Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blog Group 2: Blog Post 1-Learn in Your Pajamas

      I have, on occasion, been accused of being somewhat of a Luddite when it comes to embracing new technology. I scoffed at Twitter when it first appeared. Now I’m on the site every day. I reluctantly gave up my Sony Walkman for a portable CD player and then an MP3 player. For a few months after receiving my first debit card in 2001 I refused to use it for anything and was highly suspicious about the concept of online shopping or payments. Just a couple of weeks ago I attempted to pay a medical bill and almost had temper tantrum in my work cubicle because the company did not have an online payment option. I had to buy a stamp and write a check. What year is this, 2001?!? I didn’t even how much a stamp cost! Technological advancement has offered us such convenience that any disruption in that convenience is almost a seen as a crisis. Paying for items online or being able to download our entertainment digitally is no longer seen as new option. It is an expected norm. As of July 2014, 81% of Americans had managed household finances with online banking in the past 12 months; 56% had paid a bill online in the previous month (Statistic Brain, 2014).
     The online environment is touching all aspects of our lives. One area that is being changed by technology is education. We can now attend classes while still in our pajamas. As with most new things, I was skeptical of online learning. How was I supposed to learn if I wasn’t sitting in a classroom surround by other students and a professor? I took my first online course in 2009, a math class I needed to take in order to achieve my bachelor’s degree. Being absolutely horrible at any math beyond the basics, and finding no math classes that weren’t offered during the day, I reluctantly signed up for the required course.

     I haven’t stepped foot in a physical classroom in almost 5 years and honestly don’t know if I will ever be able to actually sit in a classroom again.

     Online environments afford us the opportunity to multitask and get more done in the 24 hours we’re each allotted every day. I work a standard 40 hours a week job. If I had to physically go to a classroom in order to go to graduate school I would have quit after my first few weeks of study. It would have been too time consuming and draining to leave work, drive to campus, sit there for 3 hours, drive home and then repeat 2 or 3 times a week.

Online student at computer

          In addition to traditional brick and mortar schools such as Southern New Hampshire University or Arizona State University offering completely online programs that result in degrees, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are one of the ways higher education is becoming available to more and more people. MOOC allow educational courses from universities to be made accessible to anyone who registers (edX, 2014). You no longer have to be accepted into Princeton or Harvard University in order to enroll in courses offered by these universities. While traditional online classes charge tuition, limit enrollment, and offer credit (Pappano, 2012), MOOC typically do not offer degrees, course credit or charge tuition. What they do offer are opportunities for many people who enjoy learning, but cannot afford to attend university or aren’t interested in pursuing a formal degree or certification.
         At first glance, online education may seem like easy child’s play. With many courses being asynchronous, you can log on at any time of the day. You are not obligated to a set schedule of when you must attend class. Online learning requires having an extreme amount of discipline. There will be no instructor reminding of when work is due or hovering over shoulder while you work on assignments. For myself, the freedom to “attend,” class when I choose is one of the main reasons that I have enjoyed and tend to do well in an online educational environment.


EdX. (2014). edX: Take great online courses from the world's best universities. Retrieved October 
        18, 2014, from

Google Images. (2014). Black woman studying at a computer [Photograph]. Retrieved from

McLeod, T. (2013, August 19). The importance of higher educcation [Video file]. Retrieved from

Pappano, L. (2012, November 2). Massive open online courses are multiplying at a rapid pace- Retrieved October 18, 2014, from

Statistic Brain. (2014, July 13). Online /mobile banking statistics. Retrieved October 16, 2014, from

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